The United States Navy is set to owe the Philippine government $1.5 million in fines for damage that one of their ships cause on the Tubbataha Reef.
According to CNN, Philippine’s officials said that the USS Guardain damaged 2,346 square meets of the coral reef when it ran aground January 17. The Tubbataha Reef is home to 500 species of fish, 350 species of coral along with whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and seabirds. This reef is a protected area. A team of marine biologist from the Navy and the Philippines both asset the damage and give their estimated reported to the Tubbataha Reef board. The fines that have been charged against U.S. Navy was based on the amount of damage. The ship, Guardian was fully removed from the reef on March 30 after the ship was broken into four sections and was craned out of the reef. On top of the fines that the U.S. has to pay, the cost to remove the ship was $45 million.
From a PR stance I think the best idea for the U.S. government is to apologize to the people of the Philippines and to pay the fine because if they don’t then they can make a mountain out of a mole hill. Also if they don’t pay it then it looks like they don’t care about protecting the environment. Hopefully the Navy or anyone who are controlling large sea liners will be more careful when docking offshore so they won’t have to pay as big as this one and not hurting innocent animals home at the same time.